Quintessential London: Wimbledon & Theatre

Tennis has made me into a traveler. The first trip I took was to visit a tennis friend who had relatives in France…I was 16 and didn’t even know how to say Bon Jour in French. I still remember my disappointment when ordering a milkshake only to find out it was milk..chocolate milk, no ice cream involved!

My trip to Wimbledon was likewise due to the friendships I’ve made through tennis. Saturday I was lucky enough to play tennis at Wimbledon, specifically at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, as a guest of Anne Clark, who I know through the ITF World Championships. She’s a great doubles player with a wicked dropshot and fantastic hands. She played with Jenny, who is an international badminton player as well as a very good tennis player.  I played with Pauline who is another terrific doubles player. We did not play on grass (it’s just been reseeded and looked fantastic…no nets or lines though) but the weather was pretty good, low 60s I think and dry (in other words fantastic weather for Britain). We we played on clay (Wimbledon has all surfaces, indoor and outdoor hard, indoor carpet, green clay and of course grass.) I was rusty…first match in about 6 weeks but I’ve hit a lot of tennis balls, I didn’t forget how.  After tennis  we had a nice lunch on the balcony overlooking the field courts. When we came out of the locker rooms there was a group being given a tour and the guide jokingly said “no autographs” in that dry British way.

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Wimbledon is under construction right now, as the Wimbledon Roof (which has its own twitter account) is getting a little competition, the Court 1 roof. FYI, the shop and museum are open year round to the public…if in London the museum is worth a trip out to the All England Club.

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In the evening I went to see a play. I took the Tube to the Covent Garden station. If you don’t take the lift there are 193 stairs up to the street level and once you start up there’s no changing your mind. I definitely saw some people on the way up wishing they’d read the sign about the 193 steps (15 stories)! I considered it cross training.Once up at street level it was crowded but very vibrant.  I went to Matilda, based on the  Roald Dahl series. It was entertaining. I had an aisle  seat up front and the cast went up and down th e aisle and even swung out over the seats in my area which was cool. The set lighting before the show started was pretty nice.

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